Serving Up the Best Site

Serving Up the Best Site
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If you want to be a successful writer these days, you''ve got to have a successful Web site. Just ask David Leite. His creation, www.leitesculinaria.com, was chosen from 425 nominees as the Writer''s Digest Best Writer''s Web Site for 2002.

Sites solely created and maintained by the writer (without an outside Webmaster) were eligible for the annual competition. Entrants were judged on presentation, ease of use and marketing effectiveness. The nominees were narrowed to 10 finalists by the WD staff, and were then evaluated by three final-round judges.

Leite, a writer of all things food, built his site when he had published only one article. He envisioned Leite''s Culinaria as a "cyberportfolio" that would showcase his work to editors of culinary publications. He used Macromedia''s Dreamweaver to upload his vision from brain to screen, and began sending e-queries with links to his work—yielding quick and positive responses from his target markets. He has since expanded his scope to appeal to the general public.

And the Runners-Up Are

(in alphabetical order) • Ruby Bayan: www.oursimplejoys.com • Meryl K. Evans: www.meryl.net • Sharon Fullen: www.writesalot.com • Wendy Lyons:
www.weathervanecommunications.com • Cliff Pickover: www.pickover.com • Elizabeth Routen:
routen.windriverpress.com • Sandra Smith: www.pagesmith.net • Robert Winkler:
pages.cthome.net/rwinkler • Robert Woodcox:
www.theghostwriter.net

"This site had me salivating—and not because of the food," says former ID Magazine Executive Editor and final-round judge Jenny Wohlfarth. "Here''s a writer who really gets it—''it'' being the business of writing, particularly the challenge of marketing yourself as a writer."

Grae Yohe, final-round judge and winner of last year''s competition, praised the site''s technical merits. "He uses cascading style sheets to keep the site''s look consistent across browsers and platforms. He uses bells and whistles sparingly, which is the right way to do it. All in all, he''s crossed his T''s and dotted his I''s—and that attention to detail shows."

Megan Lane, HOW magazine senior editor and third final-round judge, says, "Delicious recipes and the judicious use of creative adjectives combine to form a delectable Web site dedicated to the art of food. Yum!"

Leite''s win earned him a prize of up to $250 in software. The nine other finalists each receive a one-year subscription to www.WritersMarket.com. Be sure to visit all 10 URLs for great examples of ways your Web site can be an asset to your writing career. Then get busy preparing to nominate yourself for next year''s competition!

This article appeared in the October 2002 issue of Writer''s Digest.

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